15:17 GMT22 June 2021
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    The US Federal Communications Commission that it gave Google permission to provide hurricane-hit Puerto Rico with emergency cell service using balloons.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Google’s parent firm Alphabet Inc. on Friday received a permit from the US Federal Communications Commission to use balloons to provide hurricane-hit Puerto Rico with emergency cell service.

    "FCC issues experimental license to Google to provide emergency cellular service in Puerto Rico through Project Loon balloons," Matthew Berry, the authority’s chief of staff, announced on Twitter.

    ​Alphabet Inc. has confirmed it plans to use solar-powered, high-altitude balloons to support the restoration of "limited communications capability" in the US unincorporated territory.

    Puerto Rico has been ravaged by Hurricane Maria, which hit the Caribbean island as a category 4 storm on September 18, leaving it without power. Nearly three weeks after the storm, more than 80 percent of cell sites in the territory reportedly remain out of service.

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    balloon, cellphones, US, Puerto Rico
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